We are now at the end of our travels in Vietnam and we have had a fantastic time here! Currently in Hanoi the capital of Vietnam where we have spent quite a few nights here and are loving this place! Despite the fact it's impossible to get fed anywhere as there are barely any restaurants within our price range and none are ever open at breakfast time! However, persistence has prevailed and we have ended up finding cheap, cheerful and delicious places to eat and I have been pretty much living off Pho Bo - beef noddle soup (yes I know - eating beef! But I don't trust the chicken here (as its mostly dog!) and the veg one isn't that great!) which I kind of think I might be addicted to and will sorely miss once we more onto Thailand! The longer we have been here the more we have warmed up to the food and contrary to the previous blog you can buy delicious glasses of beer for 10p!!! Which we have consumed a lot of on a regular basis!
Visited the man himself, Ho Chi Minh and got to see his preserved body (mainly wax!) and watched all the communist soliders dressed all in white doing a process around the mausoleum complex on the hour and to get into this you have to walk up a red carpet! Interesting sights and sounds around Hanoi plus we are staying in the Old Quarter which is mental and full of mopeds everywhere which are all committed to killing western tourists! Crossing a road is petrifying and I literally have to be dragged into the sea of mopeds by Joe and hope that they swerve to avoid hitting us (which doesn't always happen as Justin got hit full on by one the today and had to hold onto the handle bars to avoid serious injury!). Buzzing area and lots to see and do here. Ended up spending quite a bit of time here but it has been broken up by our trip to Halong Bay.
Halong Bay was ridiculously beautiful and was simply a completely amazing sight! Headed out there on a tour which we had managed to barter a cracking price for - $45 per person which we didn't realise how great it was until we got on the junk (the boat which is kind of like a pirate ship!) and everyone else had paid about $95 and it was a delux boat! Food was amazing and for all those who have been worried about us both looking a little too anorexic we got fed so much and it was all included in our ticket! Dish after dish came out and I don't think we have been fed that much in a long time and it was truly wonderful! Rooms on the boat were lovely as well, however ours was right next to the engine so not the most romantic or peaceful place when the engine was on but when they turned it off at night it was lovely!
One of the highlights of the entire Halong Bay trip was when we got to have an hour in a canoe to go around all the limestone peaks just me and Joe and it allowed you to get away from the hundereds of junks which were in the bay and head into nothingness other than the peaks all around you, a mill pond like sea and tiny fishing boats of the locals. This has to be one of the highlights of our trip so far and it was just a magnificent experience. Sitting out on the top of the boat watching the sunset when all you could see around you were the peaks and ones which weren't so clear because of the fog were spookily silhoueted in the distance is something we will never forget! Being the ever resourceful traveller we even brought our own booze which was a wise move as they were selling cans for $2 each which is an outrageous price for Vietnam! We had to drink it secretly as well as they charged a corkage fee for bringing your own booze and the other people on the tour would probably have dobbed us in as well because we paid half the price and refused to pay for the overpriced beer! We foolishly told them how much we paid and waited for it all to kick off once the group of Australians were almost in tears and were not speaking to each other after a mix up about the rooms and outrage at how little we paid compared to them! Kept our head down from then on which involved drinking on the top deck which was pitch black when everyone else was in the bar!
Off to the Vietnamese Water Puppet Theatre which is meant to be amazing tonight so we will fill you in on our next blog and how we get on with that today! Flying to Bangkok tomorrow morning so the next time we up date you all we will be in Thailand!
Until next time....... keeeeeep dancing!! That ones for you Margaret! : )
Love Rachel and Joe xxxxxx